PORT ARTHUR —
By Sherry Koonce
The News staff writer
Representatives from the consultant company hired to help Port Arthur find a new city manager will be in Port Arthur Thursday to present a draft profile to City Council
The document details what the city is looking for in its next manager.
Strategic Government Resources gleaned the information used to compile the profile from talking with City Councilmembers and city leaders.
City Council will meet with the consultant at 5 p.m. Thursday in a workshop session to finalize ideas for the profile, John Comeaux, acting city manager, said Tuesday in a telephone conversation.
“SGR will be bringing back a draft so we can discuss it Thursday to make sure we are all on the same page,” Comeaux said.
City Council plans to meet again Monday to review the document for with any revisions or additions. At that time Council is expected to vote on whether to approve the document, or send it back for additional changes.
If accepted, the consultant will begin the task of finding candidates who are suited for the job based on the profile criteria.
The city, Comeaux said, will be looking for candidates with years of experience, those who have dealt with industrial agreements and city budgets. The ideal candidate would have experience handling natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Comeaux said he expects it will be at least two to three months before a new city manager is in place, but once the profile is approved the search should begin in earnest.
District 5 Councilman Willie “Bae” Lewis said he was becoming concerned about the amount of time it is taking to find a new manager.
“I would like to have a manager in place no later than August. This is just taking too long; we should have been further down the line by now,” Lewis said.
Port Arthur has been without a city manager since early February when the city severed ties with Floyd Johnson.
The new city manager will be the third since August 2011 when former City Manager Steve Fitzgibbons left the city’s employment with a $224,681 payment as part of a settlement of a potential lawsuit agreement.
Fitzgibbons was allowed to stay on as city manager for another four months, until January 2012. Johnson was hired as his replacement and stayed for a little more than a year before Councilmembers became disenchanted with his job performance.
SGR will be paid $26,000 to recruit and evaluate candidates for the Port Arthur city manager position.
SGR has worked with other Texas cities to find city managers including San Marcos, League City, College Station and Pearland.